Music review: Nemtsov Duo

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review: The Nemtsov Duo at The Hub, reviewed by Christopher Lambton

FROM the first notes of Chopin’s Introduction et Polonaise Brillante it was clear that the Nemtsov Duo is in a league of its own. Mikhail Nemtsov’s cello playing has a power, confidence and projection we had not yet witnessed in these Live Music Now café concerts. His sister, Elena Nemtsova, plays the piano with apparently effortless fluidity.

Technically, these two players are from Live Music Now’s UK stable, as both are associated with the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, but emotionally and musically they belong to the great Russian virtuoso tradition of bold, no-nonsense playing.

The piano was pushed as far to the audience right as possible, so that Mikhail was almost behind his sister – an arrangement they prefer, implying a unity of expression that requires no eye contact.

They followed the Chopin with a Rachmaninov slow movement and a complete Brahms sonata. The playing was simply wonderful throughout. This was the shortest recital we have yet heard but it seemed, thanks to the choice of repertoire, the most substantial. If the new EIF director is not pencilling the Nemtsov Duo into the Queen’s Hall programme next year we will want to know why.

Originally published in The Scotsman

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